It’s Not Negotiable…

Yes, I’m mad! All this fear just makes me mad. I’m mad that our democracy appears to be dying and that so many people are suffering along with me. There is no discussion though. People are afraid. Afraid of opinions, afraid of disagreement, afraid to stand up to authority, afraid NOT to stand up to authority, afraid of homelessness, afraid of being shot, afraid of continued loss of rights, afraid of pregnancy, afraid of religious people, afraid of non-religious people, afraid of criminals, afraid of the police, afraid of protestors, afraid of immigrants, afraid of politicians & political parties, afraid that we’ll feel this helpless forever.

I hear so many threats of violence and civil war that I’m actually starting to question my “I’ll never own a gun” philosophy. As a lover of peace, that was unimaginable for me 6 years ago.

I’m a white, married, middle class, suburban, Christian, cishet mom that feels completely unsafe around that same demographic. I’m also ashamed of being part of this privileged class that benefits from the oppression of others.

We all draw the line of what is acceptable to us personally and yet we’re overly focused on what our neighbors are doing. Judging others has become a national pastime as we ignore our own misconceptions. I say we, because I am just as guilty as everyone else. I don’t want to be so judgmental, but the next item is so important to me that I can’t just ignore it.

Truth is not negotiable. I have heard many people say recently that “truth is relative”. No, it’s not. The truth is the reality of any situation, not opinion or spin. Either something is true or it isn’t, whether it’s our reality or not. I judge people that state opinion as fact.

I started this blog to work out my own feelings about the extreme proliferation of unkindness. I believed at the time that U.S. politicians and the press were working us all into a lather over the definitions of freedom and justice, serving their own purposes. I thought that we would regain our senses and look for truth. That hasn’t happened because dogma is being accepted as truth.

As a person of faith, I understand that my faith system requires dogma that’s not based on proven fact. Religions have always manipulated doctrine regarding truth and justice as a way to instill societal conformity. While I find that contemptable, I don’t blame God. Humans are flawed beings who seem to default on blaming others for that fact. I feel more comfortable believing in a higher power while not requiring any other human in my life to do so. Every belief system has elements of truth that can be respected.

That said, I believe that democracy is dying in the United States because we have ignored and distorted a primary foundation of our government, the separation of church and state. Politicians have made my God hateful and intolerant. Judgmental and retaliatory. Angry and insulting. They’ve even made Jesus white and Mary a whore. Fear creates power, but it also topples governments. This power play is a dangerous game that only ends in suffering. I worship a loving God, but I’m having a really hard time seeing Him right now. Please don’t judge me for that. It’s the truth.

The Supreme Sham…

The Supreme Court has justified heresy in the name of religious liberty. The Washington coach that wants everyone to watch him pray after games has been given judicial permission to do so. What a disgraceful example of God’s love that man is. I am a person of faith and am disgusted by his performance, so I understand the revulsion non-believers feel.  I want to shout, “Christians are commanded not to turn people away from God by making a spectacle out of prayer!” Jesus said it best…

Matthew 6:1-2 Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people in order to be noticed by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow a trumpet before you like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they will be praised by people. I tell all of you with certainty, they have their full reward!

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

I brought up this disgraceful decision first because I’m still in shock over the decision they made two days earlier criminalizing safe abortions and female body autonomy.

The current SCOTUS refuses to even try to understand the plight of women in the USA as we navigate this male-centric country. I will never understand forcing any woman to give birth to an unwanted or un-viable child. Forced to endanger her life, her health, her education, her housing and employment all because she had the audacity to have sex (consensually or otherwise). Men are equally responsible but seemingly have no consequences except for occasionally being liable for some meager child support that may or may not be paid. These justices have no true understanding of poverty or sexual inequity. A majority of them operate off of purposely mistranslated bible verses that suggest women are servants to men and must live a servant’s existence. That men are the only ones worthy of passion and that we should be grateful for the crumbs they throw us. I call Bullshit! No woman should be forced to have a child, and that is for the child’s sake as well as the woman’s. I have brought up the fact many times that abortion is only mentioned once in the bible and not in negative terms. I absolutely will not argue about this with people that have intentionally changed the bible to fit their politics. If they choose to believe the lies, it is their CHOICE. Forcing anyone else to believe it in order to subjugate women is pure evil and the antitheses of liberty. Understand this, a large, ever-growing, majority of women in the USA are registered democrats so republican suppression of our voices and bans on our bodies is imperative for their political existence. Don’t buy any of the shell game named religious liberty or election fraud. This is all about political survival. I’m seriously wondering if freedom’s beacon has been extinguished by these hacks we inappropriately call “Justices”.

Freedom’s Tool…

Religion is a very dangerous weapon when used to control civilization rather than inspire it.

True spirituality cannot be an ultimatum. It must be a choice in order to represent anything meaningful.

While religion has often dabbled in politics in the name of justice, it will never attain true power since control of this world has never been God’s aim. Theocracies falter because of corruption, brutality, greed and narcissism. Human frailties take over and the powerful create religion to fit their politics and line their pockets. God does not want that and neither should we.

We cannot decry our loss of freedom as long as we’re trying to take away another’s. It is an absolute necessity to have freedom without a slave class, scapegoat or whipping boy, otherwise it’s not freedom at all. How can the church justify such immortality? Politics!

Religious political donations are the worst kind of blood money, because once they buy power and influence, they lose sight of a loving God. The scales blind their eyes and they become anchored to worldly influence. They can no longer see how the world sees them and only their sphere of influence matters. That breeds intolerance.

Occasionally we see a politician with a sincere faith, but that’s knocked out of them rather quickly since political party compliance constantly trumps religious faith in governmental agencies.

Freedom should never be a perk for the rich and powerful, it should rightfully belong to every person.

People that hurt another physically or financially should pay the consequences but making up restrictive laws just to criminalize behaviors that some may find religiously offensive is beyond immoral. Key words…People that don’t hurt other people ALL deserve freedom. That’s it. In a fair criminal justice system, even criminals will likely see freedom because we are motivated by rehabilitation and reintegration. That’s what people with integrity do.

No one can be oppressed in a free society, otherwise it is not free. Women shouldn’t be forced to bear children. Conception or first breath arguments are aimed at subjugation, not life.

The extreme effort over the past century to re-translate the bible to demonizes Gay and Transgender people is an absolute affront to the loving God who created them to be exactly who they are. LGBTQ people should be able to fully live and love in society. Fact: The word homosexual didn’t even exist in the American bible until 1948. It was inserted based on decades and centuries of confusion, lies and manipulation. Those are seeds from very bad fruit.

Absolutely NO culture or skin color is better than another.

If you don’t like someone, don’t associate with them. If you find someone repulsive, don’t engage them. If you don’t like the products they sell, don’t buy them. What you don’t have the right to do is discriminate. Discrimination has no place in a free society. NO, we’re not discriminating against churches by denying them the right to discriminate. First, churches are not people. Second, discrimination is just a dick move.

Look for the biblical translations. The argument that the bible is “God Breathed” makes zero sense when you understand that the bible has been translated hundreds of times from languages that we no longer speak (at least in modern terms). I’m begging people of faith to do their own research. While many pastors are encouraging their congregations not to associate with people outside their homogenized churches, I’m begging you to do the opposite. Learn to love all your neighbors. Just because they don’t have your faith system, it doesn’t make them bad people. Just because they don’t look like you, doesn’t make them bad people. Just because they don’t love who you love, doesn’t make them bad people. Don’t hurt them, love them. Accept them. Learn from them.

Throughout my life the church has represented many good and bad things, but even at it’s worst I believed that a majority of churches stood for goodness, love and inclusion. I no longer believe that and that pill has been a tough swallow.

What happened to sheltering the homeless? What happened to feeding the underprivileged? What happened to praising God through service?

This is what I see coming out of religion now. Not as an atheist, but as a person of faith. Angry, yelling voices. Threats of banishment. Unattainable ideals. Ostracization (even their own children). Racist ideology. Misogyny. Gun worship.

Anger, Anger, ANGER. So many have been led to believe that “someone” is taking away their rights and threatening their churches. This is not true of course. Churchgoers have the same struggles as anyone else that they need to work through. WITHOUT TAKING AWAY THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS.

Until churches return to worshipping God and the love He provides, the real question… is religion a tool or A Tool?

You can outlaw all the “someones” until you’re the only person left. That seems to be the only way for some not to feel threatened, but just so you know, that is the end of humans on this planet. There is nobody in this world that will ever be perfect enough for you. Thankfully we’re all valuable to God.

When…

When we explain why we are hurting, the next word should never be “but”

When employers don’t pay a living wage, they create homelessness

When we call people vicious names, we indict ourselves

When good people stay silent, evil prospers

When evil people yell, it’s important to state the truth softly so people lean in to listen

When we worship religion, we reject God

When we don’t tax the rich, the middle class disappears

When we create a system that prevents medical care, we become a sick society

When we commit violence, we guarantee its survival

When we proliferate war, we destroy our world

When people say they’re going to kill themselves, believe them

When people say they’re telling the truth, fact check

When we pollute, we doom our descendants

When we embrace discrimination, no one is safe

When we hate, we become a people unworthy of redemption

When we’re not prepared to sacrifice, we kill progress

When we refuse to compromise, little of value gets done

When the truth is subjective, it becomes worthless.

Presidential talking points…

Under my administration alternative facts will be eliminated in favor of FACTS.

We will not be at war with the press and we will invite scrutiny. We will strengthen laws protecting our residents against libelous and inaccurate reporting while still preserving our freedom of speech. Entertainment and political commentary are not the news. Verifiable facts should be the goal of newsworthy journalism not spin or loyalist affiliations. I will work to restore public trust in the presidency by being forthright with the people of this country and welcoming the press. We will trust news agencies to disseminate accurate information about our policies and will encourage our citizens to do their own investigative research into those policies to keep us and the press accountable. The idea of news as entertainment must end and criteria for disseminating accurate reporting needs to be strengthened within legitimate news agencies. Again, opinions are newsworthy but are not the news.

I plan to unite specific cabinet heads so that joint efforts are strengthened and duplicate missions are cut. I envision our Attorney General and Secretary of State working together to ensure justice for all United States citizens here and abroad while showing leadership abroad that is worthy of trust and provides a beacon for democracy. Our Defense and Homeland Security will also provide seamless protection from internal and external threats and will work with Veteran Affairs to honor our armed services personnel and veterans with increased services and care benefits. We will have increased focus on infrastructure. There is no excuse for crumbling infrastructure, unemployment and lackluster trade within this prosperous nation so there must be a meeting of minds within Transportation, Energy, Urban Development, Agriculture, Commerce and Labor. It is long past time that we get our country’s interior in shape and rather than fighting for operational funds, these departments need to work toward common goals that increase building and road safety and that keep our people housed, employed and fed. We can and will streamline efforts.

Plain and simple… Foreign Policy is much more than a photo op. Allies are a valued and necessary part of a thriving nation. The importance of our association with countries that have similar values and commitments to democracy cannot be overstated. We will build on those relationships. They will not be disrespected, ignored or coerced any longer. We will negotiate trade and security commitments fairly and equitably without resorting to threats. As friends we can work out our disagreements respectfully. We need to do a better job of nurturing our relationship with longtime friends and allies. It makes us all stronger.

We will take an honest, multi-faceted look at immigration and asylum practices and create a system that welcomes hard working, diverse and law-abiding prospective citizens and also provides protection and safe repatriation for asylum seekers. We will identify and coordinate with cities and towns so that we can place new residents in areas where there are employment opportunities. I am not interested in opening our borders to all applicants, but I do want to put a fair system in place that values our country of immigrants yet limits municipal liability. Our new system will restructure how we hold undocumented people and provide expedited court decisions. The cost of increased and expedited judicial hearings will be offset by the elimination of long-term holding cells and the cost of care and maintenance for these facilities.

This fact is possibly the most important… Our country dies without an educated populace. We have neglected our schools for too long and it’s time to not only make college affordable but to increase the availability of a trade school education. Our skilled workforce is in decline and there are people that are currently unemployed that are only a few classes away from an internship. We have a plan to increase construction, manufacturing and automotive programs and put people in contact with employers who are willing to train and educate in their respective fields. We will work with businesses and universities to prioritize fields of study so that incoming college freshman know what areas of employment are thriving and opportunities can be identified through employers looking for a specialized workforce. While I don’t foresee fully paid college educations for our citizens, I do plan on expanding programs and financial aid in academic areas that are national and economic priorities. Increased financial aid and grant programs are an investment that has major dividends through higher employment and new business growth.

Environmental concerns will no longer be ignored. This is not a for or against topic. We need to encourage programs that educate us in leaving a minimized global footprint and increases environmental protections. There can be a meeting of the minds in regard to conservancy and development. Energy Projects don’t have to be an environmental nightmare or a money pit. We need real life solutions regarding climate change not gloom and doom predictions. This administration will encourage scientific research and solutions to environmental concerns while still protecting business and a growing economy. The two are not enemies of one another and together can boost economic growth through increased knowledge and joint ventures.

Our healthcare industry is not living up to its name. Our people are increasingly unhealthy and uncared for because of our broken system. When a majority of people are an illness away from bankruptcy, it’s time to restructure the entire system. Prescription trials cost money but outrageous executive payouts are preventing necessary trials. Insurance companies are dictating who gets treated and for what. Hospitals are overcharging for basic items in order to make up for losses from insurance and pharmaceutical contracting practices. Healthcare that promotes profit over human life is not healthcare at all and our countrymen deserve better. We will restructure the system in a way that actually ensures our people can see a doctor and get treatment without losing everything. We need a pricing system that makes sense and where medications, procedures and preventative aids are priced evenly across every community. In my mind, this is the most basic of rights and affects every aspect of a thriving community.

We are a nation of gun enthusiasts who value their 2nd amendment rights. While there will always be differing views about what those rights entail, the reality is that gun ownership is protected by our constitution. That said, no responsible gun owner wants to see gun violence in our schools, malls and movie theaters. They take ownership responsibilities seriously and want violent offenders off the streets. I will strengthen gun laws WITHOUT affecting law abiding owners. In an effort to get gun violence under control some states have adopted laws that are aimed at eliminating guns and penalizing individual owners. Unfair and seemingly retaliatory gun regulations will be addressed and eliminated in favor of common-sense gun laws that reduce threats while protecting owner rights.

We’re being divided. There are issues that are presented to us as black and white yet they require complex thought, historical knowledge and compromise. Progress and tradition both have value and we can find common ground. When we look at issues with a win at all cost mindset, we all lose. With that said, I plan to address these controversial issues and hopefully make inroads in securing fundamental rights for women, minorities, religious organizations and LGBTQ people. Freedom is synonymous with the USA and we can secure freedoms for all of our citizens while still keeping true to our beliefs and traditions. Compromise and compassion are not bad words and I aim to prove that.

Paying down our national debt will be a priority, not an unfulfilled political promise. Paying down our national debt allows us to commit funds in areas that improves our GDP, expands employment opportunities and keeps businesses open. It is irresponsible to ignore this part of our economy.

Taxes! Always a debate topic that creates interest in the people that are looking at a reduction and fury from people looking at an increase. We have created a system that average citizens don’t fully understand. Even economists can struggle explaining the regulatory quagmire. We need simplicity. Fair taxation for ALL citizens. We can offer business incentives that promote successful business expansion but the days of wealthy businessmen paying zero taxes is over. This country should incentivize companies willing to reward employees when their business is thriving and successful. My taxation plan can actually ensure that trickle-down works for everyone and is not a money grab for the wealthy alone. I believe our nation prospers when people can acquire wealth, but the current wealth gap is not sustainable. The growing gap between the haves and have nots has created a system where having one full time job is not enough to be self-reliant, let alone raise a family. Hard work and ingenuity is wonderful and should be rewarded but not on the backs of those implementing and maintaining the business. I want to encourage a symbiotic relationship between employer and employee that sees both succeed and prosper. A commitment to each other that seems more familial. I truly believe that by restructuring the tax system we can achieve a more balanced relationship not just in our country but internationally as well.

My administration will value faith and religion and I aim to protect both by honoring the protections of our founding fathers. The separation of church and state was put in place because our forefathers knew that politics in religion is catastrophic for the faithful. Politics creates false idols and earthly promises. Separation does not protect government and it does not protect religion; it protects the faithful from the schemes of those with a worldly agenda.

This administration will not be about me or for me. I surround myself with the best and brightest in their respective fields and my cabinet will work to strengthen every department within their purview while being ever mindful that taxpayer dollars should never be squandered. I look forward to serving this country that I love and earning your respect.

Forsaking Women and Children

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Iowa, Indiana & Utah have submitted unlawful anti-abortion legislation in an attempt to undermine Roe vs. Wade. Interestingly, these states consistently pay the least toward education, pre-natal care, healthcare, welfare, drug rehabilitation, mental health, child-care, adoption services, foster services and children’s programs. These ill-conceived laws condemn unwanted children to poverty stricken, unloving homes or state facilities. Future children will too often be born to drug addicts who pass that addiction to their babies because access to affordable pre-natal and drug cessation care is scarce. Many will suffer educationally, emotionally and physically for their entire lives and will be dependent on others for their care. These states have made it clear that there are no plans to aid their state’s forced human incubators or their fetuses and have repeatedly proven that they will abandon these babies once they’re born.

The suggestion that a few of these states care for females because they list the life of the woman as an exception to their law is disingenuous. Pregnancy by its very nature is life threatening to the woman in every instance. It should always be the choice of the pregnant woman whether she wants to put her life in danger and subject her body to the extreme trauma of pregnancy and childbirth.

I have seen this quote a lot recently, “women should just keep their knees together”, **insert eye roll here! I could certainly add dozens of demeaning quotes about male anatomy and sexuality but will refrain because attempts at demonizing genders or sexual relations is just stupid.

Birth control fails regularly and reliable methods can be expensive and hard to find depending on where you live. Not to mention, one in five women are raped. They should not have to worry about being forced into months of further physical and emotional trauma in order to give birth to their rapist’s child. It’s believed that only 30% of affected children report incest and studies show that there are at least 20 million survivors of incest in the USA. They need recourse. Rape or not, women are too often abandoned and left to suffer with unwanted pregnancies alone, without help or resources, leaving them in a state of lifelong poverty if they keep the child after birth.

There are also misleading statements about adoption. Most states have children languishing in foster care because there are not enough adults willing to adopt a child with the slightest mental disability, physical deformity or behavior issues. Some are never placed simply because their birth mother didn’t give them up as an infant and they enter the system as an older child. Without services, access to higher education, monetary allocation and caring adults these children too often end up homeless, incarcerated or dependent on government services. A considerable amount of taxpayer dollars would need to be allocated to give these forced-birth children a fighting chance.

My bible only mentions abortion once, Numbers 5-Bitter Waters, which says it’s acceptable. Additionally, Genesis 2:7, Ezekiel 37:5-6 & Job 33:4 all confirm life starts at first breath.  There are biblical references used to attack abortion but they are flimsy, cultural interpretations used to control women and have little to do with Jesus. Bogus biblical arguments mean nothing to women seeking abortions, and these already traumatized women should not be forced to conform to male-centric religious principle, especially false doctrine. Life does not begin at conception but at first breath. This is true scientifically AND biblically.

Unsafe, back alley abortions have made a startling comeback in communities that have driven out women’s healthcare facilities. That breaks my heart.

Considering the lack of pre-natal care, pediatric medical services, child care facilities and basic children’s support, this proposed legislation is unbelievably inhumane for everyone involved. Instead of insisting that we bring more children into this world, these states should use their resources to improve the lives of children who are already born. There is no moral high ground here. These laws are about controlling women and taking away their rights, period.

I do not understand…

I have been advocating for my child and LGBTQ people as a whole for a while. I love this community with all my heart. They know far too much about suffering, rejection, self-harm, damaging campaigns and calls for their extermination and yet can still manage to love, support and advocate for others. Many are attempting to break down closet doors, educate society and live in authenticity even though that can be dangerous. Others are simply trying to live their lives and want everyone else to peacefully do the same. They are united by an atypical bond, shared experiences and public dissection that too often includes ridicule, rage, discrimination and violence yet their motto remains Love is Love.

There is a section of our society that refuses to accept anyone who doesn’t look, sound or behave exactly as they do and no amount of truth or logic will change that bent. I have no words or time for them.

It’s the people of faith or those that consider themselves to be of good character. The ones that participate in society and help people in need. The ones that listen compassionately and try to have open minds. The people that claim to hate no one. The people that raise their families to be a positive light in this world and yet still refuse to acknowledge LGBTQ people’s basic human rights. How do I understand them?

Family members who are reluctant to welcome us into their home because it complicates their lives. Longtime friends who say they love our family and yet openly defend measures that exclude my child from society. Why should I trust my evangelical friends’ counsel on anything regarding God, faith and love knowing they are judging my child for how they were born and judging me for loving them unconditionally?

We live in an age of discovery, technology and innovation. How can generally well educated people completely discount studies in genetics, physiology, sexuality and gender? How can they ignore painstaking theological examination that suggests biblical clobber verses don’t hold up to scrutiny? I am not saying they need to agree. I am asking why, when there are so many lives at stake do they refuse to educate themselves? Why, when there is so much evidence to the contrary do they suggest that being LGBTQ is a choice and a lifestyle?

It is hateful to say or condone the idea that gay and transgender people are a public threat and should conform to societal norms or tenuous biblical standards.

I no doubt offended someone because I suggested that their beliefs are hateful and yet they will continue to endorse governmental discrimination, religious exclusion and potentially fatal conversion therapy methods. There are few actions more hateful than rejecting a person’s humanity, insisting they live a life devoid of loving companionship and implying their death is preferable to their existence. Yes, hate is the right word.

I find the rebuttals “apparently diversity doesn’t go two ways” and “we’ll just agree to disagree” laughable. It implies there is an equal dichotomy in relation to gain and loss.

LGBTQ people can lose love, family, relationship, self-worth, mental health, marriage, employment, housing, legal and consumer rights. In the face of such loss and hate they can lose their lives by their own hand or another’s.

What is the other side losing? Their right to tell people that they will not accept them and that they are going to hell?

When they choose to reject scientific, psychological and biblical research to continue on a course that inflicts only pain and suffering, they are the ones making the choice. An ugly choice that I will never understand.

Thoughts and Prayers Rebuffed…

I feel fortunate not to have a petty, thin-skinned, retaliatory God. There is strength in knowing that he hears our rage, weeping, and lamentations with a loving heart.

We have witnessed children’s suffering, heard their frustration and cries for action. Why the incensed, shouting voices aimed at teenagers that have faced evil and survived while witnessing their classmates being slaughtered? Is it because we know that we have not done enough to protect them? Is it a personal affront to our belief in prayer? Does it feel like an attack on our faith?

God doesn’t need us to defend him. He is above insults and while he delights in our worship and praise, He also understands that we need to put our sorrow into words. His faithful are not listening but He is. He sees what we value. He sees the seeds that we have sown. He sees our fruit.

He is a God that saves us, but also asks that we honor him by serving those in pain without judgement and condemnation. I am a person of faith and I agree with the statement that thoughts and prayers are not enough.

Those of us that have been blessed need to serve. We need to reach out. We need to Love. Most importantly we need to make this earth – God’s creation – a place worth living in. A place where weapons are not used daily to kill and maim. If you’re worked up about your thoughts and prayers not being appreciated, then please ask yourself why. Why are they not received well and Why are you so offended because they aren’t? Some self-reflection is in order now more than ever. How are you revealing the love of Christ?

This is what I do know, the USA has made guns an idol. This golden calf goes on for miles and is made of millions of pieces of metal. An idol that kills God’s beloved children by the hour and yet we worship it above Him every single day. We ensure its continued existence, so is it any wonder that God is not moved by our prayers for safety from it? We have no right to be offended in the face of irreverence since we have set the example.

First, Do No Harm…

It has become increasingly difficult to find common ground with Trump supporters in the face of their vocal or tacit endorsement of the current administration’s attacks on women, citizens with disabilities, minorities, immigrants, refugees and LGBTQIA people. There are wide-ranging opinions about how to govern this country and its diverse population but there is a stark difference between attacking policies and attacking people. This country’s legacy of hope and freedom has been threatened by the continued assaults on individual rights. Most of my countrymen believe in responsible spending, curbing excessive taxation and dependable law enforcement, but this isn’t really about taxes, jobs and protection. Immigrants are not being hired over citizens unless they are significantly more qualified, our tax rate is lower than almost all industrialized nations and our incarceration rate, along with defense spending, is the highest in the world. There are states that have been hard hit economically and their suffering must be addressed, but blaming people that have not caused the problem is useless. We can make hard decisions, but the right to discriminate is never an acceptable objective. Those that claim that right in the name of political causes or religious observance are making a mockery of this country and their God.

Few people are in favor of unfettered immigration but arresting long term undocumented residents and tearing apart families is a heartless response to inadequate monitoring and inconsistent immigration policies.

Refugees often experience unthinkable atrocities and deserve compassion and assistance. Thorough screening and safe paths to repatriation should be required but blanket rejections should not.

Streamlining governmental assistance for the elderly and those with disabilities may be in order but defunding long term programs without impact studies is irresponsible.

Women are equal contributors to our nation and deserve equal opportunities, pay and respect. It should go without saying that officials that make inappropriate remarks about female appearance or behave in lewd ways are not acceptable representatives.

The foundation of our country has been laid by the blood of immigrants and on the backs of slaves. The injustices of the past should not be continued into our future. Opportunity and justice should not be dependent on a person’s heritage or the color of their skin.

Lastly, People that are born LGBTQIA deserve every right accorded them as human beings. Sexual orientation and gender identity is not a choice or a lifestyle. Those are words used by groups wanting to perpetuate their hateful and exclusionary biases. Humans have been born queer since the beginning of recorded time. Misusing biblical verses about sexual immorality and applying them to people who were born sexually different from the majority is wrong. Creating legislation that takes away rights and punishes them for who they are is an insult to the loving God who created them and flies in the face of Christianity’s greatest commandment.

Every person is valuable and deserves to be represented and protected. Our government should never be on a mission to facilitate hate and intolerance. Focusing on personal achievement and promoting legislation that fosters individual success is the only way to improve this country. When we take away the hope of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, we no longer have the United States of America.

One year ago today…

I lean fiscally conservative and socially liberal, ~ Yes, that may be an oxymoron.

Our two-party+ system can be acrimonious and impotent, but we once respected each other, living together, wanting the best for our neighbors and ourselves. It was okay to disagree on how to achieve balance between differing agendas, and our elected officials at least pretended they were fighting for all of our country’s people. The snail’s pace worked well for a long time.

Somewhere along the line both sides of the aisle were allowed to re-draw political checks and balances which created a palpable hatred amongst our representatives that has expanded into our neighborhoods. “The other” has become larger in minds and hearts. We have fallen into an us against them mentality that is killing our nation and our current administration is only partly to blame, but make no mistake, over the past year things have gotten so much worse.

Our president is not being held accountable for his actions against humanity and is inexplicably being given cover by alt-right evangelicals. The national displeasure with our current administration is more than a liberal vs. conservative crusade. It is a fight for America’s heart.

It is time to say and support the idea that just because someone is different from ourselves, it doesn’t make them bad. It is time to accept the fact that the indigenous people of our country are the ONLY ones that are not immigrants or descendants of slaves. It is time that every person regardless of pigment is treated uniformly under the law. It is time that women are respected equally in the workplace and at home. It is time that we embrace the truth that being LGBTQI is not a lifestyle – It is how they were born. It is time that people of faith are allowed to worship and not be tormented because their faith may be different from their neighbor’s faith. To my loves, the people of my faith, we must continue walking with our Savior by living His greatest commandment. Our example makes a difference and is immensely more important than our politics.

This may be an oxymoron too, but FIGHT FOR LOVE.